February 24, 2024

Mr. Wireless much the best in Indiana Derby; Plainsman, Monarchs Glen win undercard stakes

Mr. Wireless wins the Indiana Derby (Photo by Coady Photography)

Mr. Wireless surged to a clear lead nearing the completion of the far turn, and the improving three-year-old earned drew away late to a 3 3/4-length victory in Wednesday’s $300,000 Indiana Derby (G3).

After registering a close second in his stakes debut, the May 31 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park, the Bret Calhoun-trained gelding delivered a minor upset in his first graded attempt. Odds-on favorite Fulsome failed to offer a serious challenge in third.

The 27th running of the 1 1/16-mile test highlighted a 12-race program at Indiana Grand that featured six stakes, including a pair for older males.

Indiana Derby (G3)

With regular rider Ramon Vasquez, Mr. Wireless left the starting gate as the 39-10 third choice among seven rivals and tracked longshot pacesetter W W Crazy in second through opening fractions in :24.16 and :48.31 before asserting command.

He reached the six-furlong mark in 1:12.41 with a one-length advantage, and Mr. Wireless drew off in deep stretch to a resounding triumph for owners Jon Lapczenski and JIL Stable.

Sermonthemount rallied belatedly to be a clear second at 18-1, 3 3/4 lengths better than Fulsome, who was bet down to 2-5 following a 3 3/4-length romp in the May 29 Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs. Starrinmydreams, Convention, and W W Crazy came next under the wire.

A Kentucky-bred son of Dialed In, Mr. Wireless opened his racing career in early March, finishing fifth in a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds, and graduated by a nose when stretching to two turns at Oaklawn 3 1/2 weeks later. He followed with another nose win five weeks later, taking an entry-level allowance at Oaklawn, but bettors dismissed him at 14-1 in the May 31 Texas Derby.

Mr. Wireless overcame a rough trip to miss by less than a length in second, and the bay sophomore continued to move forward in the Indiana Derby. Bred by John and Iveta Kerber, he’s now bankrolled more than $360,000.

Out of the Arch mare Voussoir, Mr. Wireless counts Grade 3 runner-up Ain’t No Elmers as a half-sister.

Michael G. Schaefer Memorial

Plainsman rallied to the lead in midstretch and edged away to a 1 3/4-length tally in the $85,000 Schaefer. Off as the 38-10 third choice among six rivals, the six-year-old horse notched his second consecutive stakes win for Shortleaf Stable.

Franciso Arrieta was up for Brad Cox, who also finished fifth with 6-5 favorite Shared Sense. Winner of the 2020 Indiana Derby but unraced since a third in December’s Discovery (G3) at Aqueduct, Shared Sense raced up close before giving way by the far turn.

Plainsman, who earned his lone graded success in the 2018 Discovery, was exiting a wire-to-wire victory in the June 4 Jim Rasmussen at Prairie Meadows, but he traveled wide into the first turn of the Schaefer, rating a few lengths off the pace in fourth as Pirate’s Punch established splits in :24.51, :47.14, and 1:10.29.

A Kentucky-bred bay son of Flatter, Plainsman launched his bid on the final turn, rallying into contention by the top of the stretch, and he struck the front with about a furlong remaining. He completed the mile and 70 yards in 1:39.63, improving his career line to 23-7-5-3.

Exulting held second throughout at 7-1, 1 1/2 lengths clear of late-running Luminaire in third at 4-1. Pirate’s Punch weakened to fourth, and Truculent trailed.

Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial

Monarchs Glen kept finding more and prevailed in a cavalry charge to the finish line in the $85,000 Schuster, scoring a half-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile turf affair.

After a slow start, the seven-year-old launched an inside move past rivals on the backstretch and along the final turn, but Umberto Rispoli had to swing extremely wide entering the stretch for room among a pack of runners. Seven horses were still in contention with about a sixteenth of a mile remaining, but Monarchs Glen emerged late to earn his first U.S. stakes win.

He improved his lifetime record to 29-8-4-3 after finishing up in 1:40.52.

Mike Maker trains the gelding, who had been claimed three starts previously at Gulfstream Park in mid-March, and Monarchs Glen was available for a $62,500 tag in his most recent outing, a late-running win over allowance/optional claiming foes at Churchill Downs on June 20.